We have a great lineup in store for JazzFest 2017:

Wayne Bergeron
Wayne Bergeron

West Coast super-trumpeter Wayne Bergeron performs with the Gulf Coast Collegiate All-Star Jazz Band Saturday, April 1, and the Don Snowden Big Band Sunday, April 2. Bergeron also leads a clinic the previous Friday evening in conjunction with a rehearsal of the collegiate big band at Pensacola State College.

The Gulf Coast Collegiate All-Star Jazz Band is comprised of selected student musicians from the University of West Florida, Pensacola State College and Northwest Florida State College. This brand new ensemble presents the very best of the talented young college musicians in our area. Each of the college bands also perform on their own at scheduled times.

The Don Snowden Big Band has been a star on the Pensacola music scene for many years. Comprised of talented local musicians, the band has appeared at numerous functions and events, such as the Thursday Evenings in Seville Square series and various galas for local nonprofits.

Bergeron is enjoying a career as one of the most sought-after musicians in the world. Studio sessions, film dates, international touring, jazz concerts, guest appearances and clinics keep him busy not only in his hometown of Los Angeles, but worldwide.

His first big break was playing lead trumpet with Maynard Ferguson’s band in 1986. Bergeron continually demonstrates why Maynard remarked, “Wayne is the most musical lead trumpet player I’ve had on my band.”

As a sideman, Bergeron’s list of recording credits reads like a Who’s Who in contemporary jazz and pop, running the stylistic gamut from Ray Charles and Barbra Streisand to Green Day and The Dirty Loops. His session work includes more than 350 TV and motion picture soundtracks, and Bergeron can be heard as a featured soloist on films such as Ted 2, Minions, Jersey Boys, The Incredibles, Rocky Balboa, The Green Hornet, Despicable Me 2, Leather Heads, The Perfect Game, and numerous TV shows including

Bergeron has recorded and played with Quincy Jones, Gordon Goodwin, Arturo Sandoval, Pat Williams, Sammy Nestico, Jack Sheldon, Tom Kubis, Bob Florence, Bob Curnow, and many others. Bergeron’s debut effort, “You Call This a Living?” earned him a Grammy nomination in 2004 for Best Large Jazz Ensemble. Bergeron’s second CD, “Plays Well With Others,” released on the Concord Jazz label in 2007, was met with likewise acclaim.

Listen to Wayne Bergeron at: https://www.waynebergeron.com/

Saxophonist Greg Abate
Greg Abate

A  straight-ahead, all-star combo, the Greg Abate Quintet features jazz greats: Abate on saxophone, Bobby Koeble on guitar, Mike Esneault on keyboard, Steve Gilmore on bass and Fred Domulot on drums.

Abate is a jazz saxophonist, flutist and composer who continues as an international jazz recording artist, spending much of the year touring the globe.

In the mid '70s, after finishing a four-year program at Berklee College of Music, Abate played lead alto for the Ray Charles Orchestra for two years. In 1978, he formed his group Channel One, which was a favorite in the New England area, and from there had the opportunity to play tenor sax with the revived Artie Shaw Orchestra under the leadership of Dick Johnson from 1986 to 1987. Following this experience, Abate ventured out as a post, hard-bop soloist playing jazz festivals, jazz societies and clubs around the globe.

Listen to Greg Abate at: http://www.gregabate.com/

Annie Sellick and Hot Club

Annie Sellick and the Hot Club of Nashville, initially inspired by the Hot Club genre (Django-Reinhardt gypsy-swing), bring fiery guitar and violin soloing on standard repertoire such as Honeysuckle Rose and Sweet Georgia Brown as well as a host of charming originals …and the cherry on top of this band is the high-energy and hard-swinging singer, Annie. A Nashville native vocalist, Sellick was voted Best Jazz Artist by readers of the Nashville Scene five years in a row, and has since toured all over the world and performed and/or recorded with many of her musical heroes including Mark O'Connor's Hot Swing, Tommy Emmanuel and jazz organ royalty Joey DeFrancesco.

The Hot Club of Nashville is lead by Britain-born Richard Smith who owns a guitar signed "To my hero, Richard" - Jerry Reed and Chet Atkins. Fellow guitarist Pat Bergeson (expect Howard Levy-like harmonica solos too) moved to Nashville at the request of Chet Atkins to record and join his band, where he remained several years. Fiddle player Aaron Till has performed with Jerry Reed, Tanya Tucker, Pam Tillis and Tommy Emmanuel, among other musical heavyweights. Bassist Charlie Chadwick, who created the Chadwick Folding Bass (that's right folks, an acoustic bass that folds un half) joins the group and Justin Varnes on drums.

The group has performed at the Montreal Jazz Festival and the Riverbend Festival as well as abroad including the Tommy Emmanuel Guitar Festival in Reitberg, Germany and Poland. They are a mainstay at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention as well as The Bluebird Cafe in Nashville as well as Eddie's Attic in Atlanta.

As for the original songs, some are so reminiscent of an old swing standard that you would think they've been loved for decades, and another might be a pop crossover you might hear on a future album by the likes of Norah Jones or Madeleine Peyroux.

Listen to Annie Sellick at: http://www.anniesellick.com/

Fusion Beat

Fusion Beat performs different musical styles such as jazz, world music, Latin and funk. This group is located in Orlando. Members are Harry Rios, piano; Marco Bojorquez, bass; Harry Rios, trombone; Patrick McKenzie, trumpet; Omar Perdomo, percussion; Dimas Sanchez, drums.

The group's influences range from Puerto Rican,  Afro‐Cuban, South American, New Orleans, Be‐Bop, European and different jazz styles. Each one comes from many musical backgrounds and influences. Together, they blend and create a fresh sound in a sextet format. The group members are also available for workshops in jazz, Latin jazz and Puerto-Rican folkloric music.

Listen to Fusion Beat at: http://www.fussionbeat.com/

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